My name is Colin McGrane and I am entering my senior year at Manhattan College in Bronx, New York. I am a civil engineering major and have enjoyed every aspect of learning and studying about the engineering industry. I was born and raised in Boca Raton, Florida before moving to the New York City area for college. Although I could have stayed in Florida and studied engineering, moving to New York City offered amazing opportunities and experiences especially in the construction field. My grandfather and my great grandfather owned their own construction company in Jersey City, New Jersey and my grandfather later in Boca Raton, Florida. I was always fascinated with the stories about the projects they have done especially in the Tri-State area. One project especially that stood out to me was my great grandfather who was involved with the construction of the Pulaski Skyway which connects Jersey City into Newark. Since then I knew I wanted to be involved in the construction industry.
Thanks to my school and their connections to thousands of alumni in the engineering and construction fields, I was able to earn an internship for the New York State Department of Transportation. This was one of my first hands on experience in construction in New York City and I fell in love with it even more. I was involves with a rehab of a major interstate highway bridge located in the Bronx. I got the chance to see a major phase of the project from start to finish in the summer I was there and saw many different types of tasks completed.
This summer Internship however was a life changing experience for me that I will never forget. I am now currently working for Metro North Railroad in the Construction Management department at Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan. Metro North Railroad is the nation’s busiest commuter rail system serving over 300,000 riders a day. Grand Central Terminal is one of the busiest destinations in the world which has close to one millions visitors a day. I am lucky enough to work in such a prestige landmark and amazing company. This past summer I got to see some of the biggest projects in the busiest areas in the world. Construction alone is amazing but put it in Midtown Manhattan along with the railroad and it’s a sight you will never forget.
I was involved with many different projects this summer but the one that stands out the most is the 11 billion dollar project East Side Access. This is going to connect Long Island Railroad into Grand Central terminal through four large tunnels 150 feet below ground. The magnitude of this project is unbelievable and I got to see behind the scenes of one of the most amazing construction and engineering job of a life time. To see plans on paper is one thing but to actually visualize and see hands on construction is what makes me love what I study and do.
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